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Place Matters

Does place matter any more?  It’s a hard question to answer at first.

Research shows that regardless of whether you are rich or poor, virtually everyone has a smart phone today.  It’s today’s essential lifeline.  Having a fast and reliable Internet connection is another matter, but most of us can get online from  almost anywhere.  Anytime.  Day or night.  We are completely mobile and connected, 24×7.  So it really shouldn’t matter where we are, right?

In fact, place matters more than ever.

While technology can make us feel globally connected and empowered in one moment, in the next we live with the consequences of being permanently “tethered,” unable to escape its web.  At once, it is a very connected yet very solitary “place.”  As technology continues to advance and lines blur between “virtual” and “real,” let’s not forget an essential truth.

Where we truly connect is in physical spaces.

Words that describe certain touchstone places like “home,” “office,” or “school” stir up powerful emotions in us.  Some places bring us calm and refuge.  Others we associate with regimen and productivity.  Still others inspire us and connect us to something larger.

As many of you know, Valley Vision just moved into a new “place” this week.  A single story building in Oak Park in the heart of Sacramento and the Greater Sacramento region.  3400 3rd Avenue, to be precise.

After just a few days working from here I can tell you that place absolutely matters.  While we loved our old office on Broadway, this space is even livelier, with better energy and more places to connect.  There are bright colors on the walls.  Light streaming in from long windows.  Views out on homes and businesses and people and bikes and  dogs going by.  And let’s not forget the new Ping-Pong table in the middle of the office.  It has already brought together former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Ruben, our communications intern, in a fun match up.

This is what place does.  It creates memorable, one-of-a-kind experiences.  Humanizing connections we all want.  This is pretty important for an organization like Valley Vision that is constantly seeking out ways to unite our region and improve lives.  We are thankful that we have an even better place to do this work from today.

Come by and play a game.  We hope to see you soon.

Bill Mueller was Chief Executive of Valley Vision.